About My Site
During an interim of roughly 15 years, from the late 1970’s to the early 90’s I wrote and/or compiled these articles, reproduced them in bulk, advertised and (snail) mailed this material out nationwide and worldwide.
My work on this began when I was a childbirth instructor myself during the 1970’s. I began writing information sheets for distribution to my own students. Prior to my career as a mother I had taught elementary school, and this is what teachers do. Much of the information available for expectant and new parents at that time was terribly inadequate. Some members of the medical community have deliberately wanted to keep lay people in the dark. Is this out of true concern that some facts are too frightening for some people? Or is this a disdainful belief that the rest of us, especially women are too simple-minded to understand these things, or should be kept ignorant, and thereby dependent on them?
Of course we have come a long way since the 70’s, but there’s still much work to be done. Emotionally exhausted and financially drained from so many years of snail mail activism, and welcoming so many other brave souls, refreshed and ready to take over in this, I semi-retired from this stage of my activism during the early 90’s.
The relative ease of the Internet has brought me back and into the new millennium. (My computer is still like a fun, fascinating new toy to me!) I have now scanned and updated most of my articles in the hopes that future generations may now put them to positive use.
I greatly welcome feedback and suggestions, pro or con, about any or all of these articles. I find it fascinating and rewarding to hear of how material is received and put to use in childbirth classes and other settings. I am also very much open to any new, useful information, suggestions for wording or presenting ideas, and/or points of contention on specific issues. Do keep me informed of any new websites or other related resources. I am also planning to add a section with feedback from website visitors. (This is so much more fun than hauling stuff to the post office!)
I do hope that my writings will be put to use for many future generations, even after I have left this world. — No, that’s not entirely true! The childbirth education and breastfeeding/infant care material I hope will always be of value to future parents, (although there will certainly be changes in cultural ideas and medical innovations.) The circumcision information, I hope will become obsolete as quickly as possible, and that leaving our little boys whole and complete will soon become automatic and unquestioned.
My original role in all of this was as a teacher, mother, childbirth instructor, researcher and writer, with equal interest and concern in all facets of the pregnancy/birth/new baby experience. I had never intended that my major role in this would become “dispenser of circumcision information.” But other writers and resources on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and similar issues have been available in abundance. My information on the same, while useful, is admittedly not unique, while during the 70’s and early 80’s my research and writing on circumcision was an innovative breakthrough (at least for the world of childbirth education.). When I began my quest in 1977, even among my seemingly vast collection of birth and infancy related resources, I was able to find almost no information on the subject. At best, books on birth or baby care gave only a sentence or two of vague, neutral information, as if cutting off a baby boy’s foreskin was as benign or inevitable as cutting the umbilical cord. I soon realized I was trailblazing in a new frontier of information. I began sending out information to childbirth education groups and placing ads in childbirth oriented publications. To my immense surprise, not only was I being contacted by midwives, childbirth instructors, and expectant parents, but doctors and even medical schools were sending for my information! I had discovered a subject in immense need of exposure and long overdue for clarification and education.
I do not hide the fact that I am indeed opposed to the painful and unnecessary operation being done to newborns. However, initially I was immensely curious, admittedly emotionally devastated over the trauma that my own sons had experienced, but undecided about the benefits and deficits of circumcision itself. If anything, as a mother I leaned towards wanting to believe that what had been done to my first three sons was indeed beneficial. It was only gradually, one fact added to another, myth after myth being dispelled, that I grew increasingly opposed to the procedure. (This was amidst much emotional turmoil and maternal heartbreak on my part. I later gave birth to another son who has been left intact.)
As others continue working towards positive, rewarding, and joyful beginnings to the experience of parenthood, it is my hope and belief that the ongoing flurry of debates over foreskin amputation will become relegated to the annals of historical curiosities/atrocities for the future generations for whom leaving a son intact will have become as inevitable and unquestioned as not cutting off his fingers or toes.
To that end I leave this work.
(All of the articles in this website are written by me, unless otherwise indicated.)
P.S. As time goes by I will be adding updates to this website. It seems like between all of these articles and my book Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma (which is out of print, but presently in the process of being revised,updated and made available on line), that I have written everything that I ever possibly could about circumcision and other birth and babies related subjects. But who knows what new inspirations may come along in the future. Also, I have a wealth of old material stored away in my “archives” – (actually, in boxes of stuff out in a storage shed on our property). As I dig through this treasure trove of decades old articles, interviews, letters I have written, letters from others, I hope to be adding many more items that should be of interest to others. Do check back on this website from time to time to see the promised updates.
Peaceful Beginnings’ logo (which was used on all of my printed literature) was taken from a photograph of my third son, Ryan, born at home in 1977.
For those of us who understand – a picture is worth a million words!